It’s one of the very first thing people usually ask when searching for earplugs–is there an earplug that blocks all the sound?
The short answer is, earplugs cannot block all the noise. They can drastically reduce the sound you hear, but even if it were possible to block all sound, you wouldn’t want to for safety reasons. While sleeping you still need to be able to hear in case of an emergency, like a fire. Rest assured, finding the right earplugs will block a lot of the noise that is preventing you from sleeping, but it cannot block all noise. You will still hear things like alarms, barking dogs and if a television is on. If you’re looking for the best earplugs for sleeping with a snorer, you want to look for the highest decibel reduction rating. For example, EARPEACE sleep has a decibel reduction rating of over 30dB’s.
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That being said, selecting the right earplug depends on more than just the decibel reduction. Here’s a few things to consider when trying to find the right fit. Whether you need ear plugs that block all sound (or at least, as much as possible) or you need the best earplugs for sleeping with a snorer, the answers of what to look for are going to be very similar.
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Ear Plugs That Block All Sound v. Ear Plugs That Allow You to Hear Conversation
Before we delve into the various types of earplugs, it is important to understand how earplugs work. When sound waves enter our ears, they vibrate the eardrum, which in turn sends signals to our brain, allowing us to perceive sound. Earplugs work by reducing the intensity of these sound waves before they reach the eardrum. This can be achieved through various mechanisms, such as absorption, attenuation, or a combination of both.
While earplugs come in a variety of types, they will either feature no filter or a variety of filter options. Ear plugs that block all sound will frequently be referred to as a “full block” filter or a “full block” earplug. If you’re looking for concert earplugs or high fidelity earplugs, you are looking for an attenuated filter. If you are looking for the best earplugs for sleeping with a snorer, you will want a full block or absorption style earplug. Here are some other things to watch out for:
Rating Decibels are the unit of sound measurement. The higher the number, the louder it is. The best earplugs for noise reduction are measured by measuring the reduction in decibels (dB).
Single Number Rating (SNR)
A system of measuring sound reduction per the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 4869. To find the sound attenuation level, subtract the SNR from the decibel level.
Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
A system of measuring sound reduction using OSHA ANSI/ASA S12.6-2016 standard.
To use subtract seven from the NRR number, divide by two and then subtract from the original decibel level.
Decibel Reduction Range
Earplugs attenuate high frequency tones differently than low frequency tones. The lower the frequency, the less the attenuation level. This is why labels may feature a range of reduction.
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There are several different types of earplugs available on the market today. This allows you to find the earplugs that are right for your needs and price point.
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How High Fidelity Filters Work
There are two kinds of high fidelity filters, and both can offer good sound experiences. Choosing ones come down to what is right for your preferences.
Precision Drilled Filters
In a precision drilled filter, a hole is bored through the filter that narrows the amount of sound that can make it to your eardrum. These are the kinds of filters featured in our Original line of products such as Music and Moto. Our Original Music and Moto, models come with 3 filter sets to make sure you are equipped for your specific situation:
- 20 dB - Red filters come preloaded in the plugs and are High Protection
- 17 dB - Clear filters are Medium Protection
In an acoustic filter, the sound goes through several layers, including an acoustic mesh membrane that captures the sound signature and replicates it completely, just at a lower volume. This allows for more precise, full spectrum sound. This technology is featured in our PRO line of products such as Music PRO, Moto PRO, and NPR. Our Music PRO and Moto PRO models come with different filter options and all filter options are available separately. This allows you to fully customize your sound experience.
Full Block Filter
A full block filter is one where the filter space is filled entirely, blocking the sound from making it’s way into the eardrum. This type of filter can’t completely eradicate any sound, but it will drastically reduce the sound you can hear. All our products have an available full block filter.
Remember that every 3dB increase is a doubling of sound pressure. The way that 'volume' increases is not linear. Even small increases are very tough on the delicate parts of your inner ear that pick up high frequencies and enable you to have a rich sound experience. A -3dB reduction may not feel like a big difference but it halves the amount of time you can safely listen to that level of sound. More information on Noise Induce Hearing Loss (NIHL) here.
Why are EARPEACE earplugs different?
In short? Our three patents. We are the only earplugs on the market with this many patents and this advanced of a product.
Our patents are both for utility and design–meaning we’ve created something no one has and no one else can replicate that improves the utility (use) of wearing earplugs and the design of how earplugs work. This technology we’ve developed advances the experience of wearing earplugs, ensuring you have the most comfortable wearing experience possible, while the filter options can be tailored to your situational needs.
Our mission is to meaningfully change the way people consider their hearing health and options to protect it. We want high quality hearing protection to be as common as sunscreen.
When we started in 2008, barely anyone talked about hearing protection. But we revolutionized the market with a discreet, comfortable, high-fidelity earplug built not only for musicians, but for all the fans at the event. We make audiologist recommended earplugs.
Hopefully this helps you find the best earplugs for your situation–remember look for the highest decibel reduction in an earplug that fits you comfortable and you can wear for long periods. The best earplug, after all, is the one you actually wear!